Gender Inequality in HealthcareBy Miriam Bello | Tue, 10/20/2020 - 16:34
How do women experience gender inequality in healthcare? MBN has gathered different responses from leading women in the industry to portray their experiences from a socio-cultural standpoint.
“In Mexico and Latin America, we still have a huge gap in terms of gender equality. I often find myself the only woman in the room, fighting to be taken seriously or to be treated equally,” said Sandra Sánchez-Oldenhage, Regional General Manager of the NoLA Region of Novartis Oncology.
Similar to Sánchez’s experience is that of Francisca Vargas, Founder and CEO of Womedic, who aside from struggling to be recognized as a leader for being a woman, Vargas also faced discrimination at work. “I worked many years in the Ministry of Health and I got fired because I got pregnant. After this, I worked in the private sector. I was the only woman and I basically ended up subordinated and doing a job that was below that which I was hired for.”
In clinical research, nowadays there is a woman, Fabiola Encinas, leading the Mexican CRO alliance (ACROM). During an interview with MBN, she talked about the importance of equality in healthcare. “In the area of clinical research, women are the majority and it is very gratifying when we see that we have the opportunity to develop within this sector.”
Regarding access to health services, according to Statista, it was estimated that nearly 9 million women in Mexico lacked access to healthcare services in 2018 and were therefore considered socially vulnerable. Healthcare coverage plays a key role. However, there are topics that involve biological factors such as the legalization of abortion, an act that is still penalized in many states of the country.
Women’s role in healthcare is prominent when it comes to proving care. According to Animal Político, in Mexico there are 42 million people who require some type of care. Of these, 33 million are under the age of 15 and 9 million are adults over 65. AMIIF states that women represent between 63 and 84 percent of long-term family caregivers and contribute 72-88 percent of the total hours allocated to long-term care services.